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Acne.com versus Acne.org

Posted Jul 21 2009 10:03pm

Acne.com, a website paid for by the drug company behind Proactiv, a common acne medicine, has the following:

Acne Myths & Claims: Certain foods cause acne. No, those french fries you had yesterday didn’t give you new zits today. In fact, scientists have been unable to find ANY substantial connection between diet and acne. So all the foods you’ve been afraid of — pizza, french fries, chocolate — are fine. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should binge on your favorites whenever you want — a healthy diet will help your body have the strength to help you in your fight against acne. So use your common sense, but don’t be afraid to indulge now and then.

“All the foods you’ve been afraid of are fine”? This is much too certain-sounding. T he studies that failed to find a diet/acne connection were poor. Other research suggests that acne may well have a dietary cause. The false certainty is self-serving. Because foods don’t cause acne don’t bother trying to figure out which ones; just take our medicine! It resembles my surgeon claiming there was evidence that the surgery she recommended and would profit from was a good idea when there wasn’t any such evidence.

In contrast, acne.org has this:

Myth: Diet and acne are related. Reality: The bottom line is we need more research. We do know that people in some indigenous societies do not experience [any] acne whatsoever across the entire population. This is in stark contrast to the widespread presence of acne throughout all modern society. It leaves us to ponder the question of whether the indigenous people’s diet contributes to their acne-free skin. Discovering a dietary way of preventing acne may be a future reality, however, we may live so differently from our hunter/gatherer ancestors that it has become close to impossible to replicate our ancestral diet. But let’s see if we can work together to come to some consensus from our own experiences. If you feel that you have cleared your acne using a particular diet, or if you are planning on attempting a diet of some kind, please post your method on the Nutrition & Holistic health message board.

That’s reasonable and helpful. The website that couldn’t hire expensive experts had better information.

Reviews of Proactiv on acne.org.

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